What Are You Doing About It?

Are patient numbers down?

Is the practice seeing fewer patients this year than previous years?

Do many of the patients not want to come in because they lost their job, thus do not have any health insurance?

Are they coming in less because they want to save on their copayments or maybe their deductibles went up?

Is your office not getting as many newborns as in the past?

How about school physicals? Are you doing less overall?

Did this season’s lackluster flu season put a hole in your practice’s bottom line?

How about RSV? Did you not see as many RSV cases this season as in the past?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’d ask: 

What are you doing about it?

If you said nothing, let me ask you this…

Are all the children in your practice vaccinated?

Has the practice’s entire patient panel had a well-child in the last 12-months?

Are patients less than two years old being seen according to AAP guidelines?

Are all the practice’s asthmatics followed up with properly? 

What about ADHD patients? Has an attempt been made for those children to be brought in regularly to monitor their meds?

Are your obese kids being monitored properly?

Not only are you being proactive in your patient’s well-being (prevention is the best form of medicine), but we are also filling in the financial shortcomings.

Do you agree or disagree?

4 thoughts on “What Are You Doing About It?”

  1. “Any of you sceduling tenative appointments for follow up visits?”

    Aren’t all appointments tentative? I mean,

    “Many of our parents do not want to make an appointment 2-3 month ahead for a follow up, because they do not know what their commitments will be.”

    You mention in a previous comment that you charge for no-shows. Perhaps, people are a bit skeptical to book an appointment, not because they don’t know their schedule, but rather because they don’t want to forget about the appt and be charged $30.00

    Something to think about.

    For the record, I don’t think having an alternative “tentative” schedule is a good idea.


  2. Any of you sceduling tenative appointments for follow up visits?
    Many of our parents do not want to make an appointment 2-3 month ahead for a follow up, because they do not know what their commitments will be . I am thinking about offering “tentaive appointments”, where we would put them on the schedule, then call them about 2 wks ahead to see if it is still OK with them. Little more work, but may be worth it. This would eventually eliminate the need for “re-calls” i.e. going through a list of for example Asthma patients to see who has not been in. We used to do these “re-calls”, but it was very time consuming. What do you think of tennative appointments?

  3. Absolutely, I agree! Unfortunately, one of the issues surrounding well care and chronic illness visits, is missed appointments. There seems to be a much higher rate for these appointments. Our policy is to dismiss the patient after three missed appts in one year. We call to remind and send letters when they miss. Doesn’t really seem to affect the no show rate very much. Have others had success in reducing their no show rate?


    1. Thank you for the comment Jane (and sorry it took me so long to reply. I was out on vacation).

      Missed appointments is certainly a problem. We try hard to avoid no-shows (call backs, reminders, etc). But we still have them.

      We too have a 3-strikes your out policy. But you know what? We only have about 1 or 2 families that have 3 no shows in 1 year. Most of our patients have none. And a few have 1.

      But when one has a large patient panel, and see a lot of patients in a year, one here and there per patient can add up.

      Still though, just because one has a few no-shows doesn’t mean we should not put an effort to bring our patients back for preventive wellness visits.

      The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. In other words, even if you have a few no-shows, the benefits of bringing “key” patients back still renders better results overall; both clinically and financially.

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